‘Twin transition’ to green and digital innovation accelerates SDGs

EU-ASEAN partnerships for research and innovation bring green and digital transformations towards a zero carbon economy.

Cover - EU accelerates SDG action through ‘twin transition’ to green and digital  innovation with ASEAN

EURAXESS ASEAN — the EU’s community connecting ASEAN researchers with Europe — carried out its two-week flagship event ‘European Research and Innovation Days ASEAN’ from 2 to 11 November 2022, this year highlighting the EU’s strengths as a leader in sustainable development, digitalisation, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Around 70 speakers contributed to the online event, which acted as a pathway for the 3,000 policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and members of the public looking to collaborate within the EU’s borderless market known as the European Research Area (ERA).

Panel discussions and workshops targeted achieving the SDGs by accelerating the green and digital transitions as central drivers of the circular economy. Topics included the EU-ASEAN digital partnership, public and private financing for innovations, sustainable fashion and gender equality. Other sessions showcased good practices from startups in Austria to the energy transition in Germany; disaster risk reduction in Italy; renewable hydrogen and global health in Spain; and the green tech ecosystem in Vietnam.

The ‘researchers in motion’ series highlighted the ongoing work of Europeans and South-East Asians at the forefront of this green and digital movement.

The forum also introduced Horizon Europe, the EU’s flagship programme for research and innovation. With a budget of EUR 95.5 billion, the programme supports the creation and dissemination of technologies and best practices to tackle global challenges such as climate change, thus generating jobs that boost the competitiveness and growth.

While the EU accounts for only 6% of the world’s population, it globally represents 17% of expenditure on R&D, 32% of high-impact scientific publications and 32% of patent applications.

H.E. Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN, lauded this interregional exchange of ideas and expertise as an enabler of ‘new solutions for a more sustainable, digital and greener future in South-East Asia and Europe’. Cooperation in the area of AI — which was used to establish the brand identity of this year’s event — is only one example that will prove to be key to ASEAN’s digital future.

Nearly 20 media outlets across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand covered the event in several local languages.

Sessions from this year’s European Research and Innovation Days ASEAN are available to be rewatched here.

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